26 September 2020 -
Malaysia’s top 20 virtual racers will be battling it out this weekend for the honor of being crowned the overall champion of season 3 of the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship with a total prize pool of RM70,000 and a chance to represent Malaysia in the first ever GR Supra GT Cup Asia 2020.
The two-day event will see the elite group of 20 online racers taking part in a semi-final on Saturday (26 September 2020) before the fastest 10 advances to compete in a four-race format grand-final the following day (27 September 2020).
To be held at the UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. (UMWT) headquarters in Shah Alam and racing in simulators utilizing *Sony Playstation’s Gran Turismo Sport platform, the semi-final involves two individual races held in Japan. The first is a 22-lap race at the Kyoto Driving Park behind the wheel of a TS050 Hybrid prototype sports car, before piloting a Dallara Super Formula SF19 around the 5.8km Suzuka Circuit in an 18-lap battle.
The 10 finalists will then face an even challenging road ahead with the championship decided over four grueling races with points awarded for every round.
Race 1 require drivers to compete behind the wheel of a GR Supra RZ at the Autodrome Lago Maggiore circuit in Italy (15 laps); Race 2 in a FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo at Autopolis Racing Course Japan (18 laps); Race 3 piloting a TS050 Hybrid sports car at Circuit de la Sarthe in France (10 laps); and the fourth and final race in a Toyota-powered Dallara Super Formula SF19 at the famous 13.6km Belgium Spa-Francorchamps circuit (18 laps).
Regarded as one of the most lucrative and rewarding local online racing series, the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship offers a cash prize of RM20,000, RM10,000, RM7,000, RM5,500, RM4,500 to the top five overall winners. Racers will also stand a chance to win additional cash in the form of RM450, RM200 and RM100 awarded to the first, second and third place winners at each of the four grand-final races.
Prize monies amounting to RM4,000, RM3,500, RM3,000, RM2,500 and RM2,000 also awaits racers who finish in 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th positions respectively, while those who finish 11th to 20th positions will earn a prize of RM500 each.
The top three winners of the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship will go on to represent Malaysia in the first ever GR Supra GT Cup Asia 2020 regional e-motorsports competition organized by Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP) in October 2020 where they will compete with the best racers from Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines and India.
The Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship kicked off with a series of four qualifying rounds in September with some 720 online racers taking part. First held in 2018, the number of participants competing in the championship grew from 400 to 657 virtual racers in 2019. The event also successfully grew an online audience of 10,000 in 2018 to 100,000 spectators in 2019 with some 300,000 viewers expected to tune in to all of this season’s live streamed online races.
“Online racing has grown to an unprecedented level, attracting not only young and adult gamers but also amateur and professional racing drivers who were grounded from participating in physical racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This (virtual racing) has kept Toyota’s motorsports activities active throughout what has otherwise been an extremely challenging period,” said GAZOO RACING Malaysia’s Chief Motorsports Officer Akio Takeyama.
Takeyama, who is also UMWT Deputy Chairman added that the company began its online racing campaign with organizing the Toyota GAZOO RACING Online Challenge that featured five individual rounds being held from April, attracting gamers as young as six years old.
Meanwhile, this weekend’s grand-final will also feature a special 10 and 17-lap exhibition race involving racers and celebrities competing in the Toyota Vios Challenge. Celebrity racers competing include actress Janna Nick, television presenter Nabil Ahmad, musician Shawn Lee, singers Khai Bahar and Wany Hasrita, and model Ain Edruce, while the line-up of racers will include Toyota Vios Challenge Season 3 Super Sporting Class champion Tengku Djan Ley and Sporting Class champion Hayden Haikal.
President of UMW Toyota Motor Sdn. Bhd. Mr. Ravindran K. said virtual racing has established another strong pillar for Toyota in its pursuit of bringing motorsports to the masses. UMWT is the first, and remains as the only Malaysian car company to be associated with the fast-growing E-sports motor-racing activities.
“Toyota has a rich heritage in motor-racing and all its global motorsports activities are today consolidated under the GAZOO RACING brand and philosophy which embodies performance and excellence. Domestically, these initiatives have translated into the running of three seasons of the Toyota GAZOO RACING Festival; three seasons of the Toyota Vios Challenge racing series; three seasons of the Toyota GR Velocity Esports Championship; the introduction of a new range of race-bred and race-inspired GR-badged vehicles; and the set-up of specialty showrooms in the form of GR Garages, the first outside of Japan, that not only features is GR road cars, but also GR accessories, auto parts and designed to be Toyota motorsports lifestyle outlet for our customers.
“Moving forward, the GR brand will continue to spearhead and expand Toyota’s presence in Malaysian motorsports with a number of other initiatives to be rolled out soon.”
* “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. “PS4” is a trademark of the same company. © 2019 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. ”Gran Turismo” logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.